As I realize my previous short films aren’t getting as much attention as I would have liked them to get on the festival circuit, I’m once again faced with the question – “what’s next?”
Ah…. a question that never really goes away but rather needs to be decided upon continuously if you are at all a conscious person who plans to decide their own fate as much as possible.
Fortunately, I’ve already decided that I will make films until I take my last breath, so at least I’ve passed the stage of that question where I pondered whether I’m doing what I really want to do since this is quite the challenging life choice. But now, my focus is turned to the question of how to make films that reach an audience… and while there are many great answers to this question out there, every filmmaker has to decide this for themselves. Do you try to appeal to the masses? Do you stay true to your message and personal style? How can art be anything other than what its creator wants it to be? But then, is the artist willing to simply have enough money to enable them to live and little more? And the jobs one must have on the side to have any money? And why is it that the work of many artists aren’t recognized for what they are until many years after they’re put out in the world? How much does timing have to do with an audience’s willingness to embrace a particular work of art? And the questions go on and on…
But there’s that one that will inevitably enter an artist’s mind after they finish something – what’s next?
I try to learn from my past and apply it to my future but I have this tremendous stubborn and prideful streak that refuses to stand aside and create something that doesn’t feel natural or right to me. But then, I want my films seen. I get advice from many who have taken an interest in me or my career and while I am grateful for any interest, I do believe that this is something that has to come from within me. I have to answer this question myself, though I definitely do use the advice toward that goal.
I think it would be best if I just lock myself up and think and write until I have the answer but it seems the older I get, the tougher it is for me to choose this path. For one thing, I cannot go longer than a few days without seeing my nephew. For another thing, I value my friendships (family or not) more than I think I ever have before and very much want to spend time with them. Not to mention I no longer live alone. But at the same time, I love isolation when I’m trying to figure something out.
It’s a similar problem to the one in which I want to make the films I want to make but I also want them seen.
So I wonder, can someone do two things that may seemingly not go together?
I’m not sure, but perhaps instead of isolating myself, I should isolate that answer.
Hm… I think I just found out what’s next for me.